The current exhibition at window got me thinking. Mark Menjivar's work is about luck. Luck and interaction, really. The site-specific installation was the launching point for my access to his work. Only later, upon leaving the exhibition with both a chance to reflect and the time to learn more about his project through the online, aptly named Luck Archive, was I able to digest this work.
What struck me and stuck with me most from Mark's work, both in general and in relation to this project, is that the subject is secondary to the action that follows or is created by the particular subject matter. What I mean to say is that the interaction and collaboration Mark, and by extension his audience, has with people submitting their objects and stories of luck are the real exchanges, the real raison d'etre of Mark's work, and that is the exciting thing for me. Sure, there's something for exploring luck, but luck itself is not the thing, really its the foil that gets people to share, to connect about something that can be personal and real. Luck is the trivial subject. The sharing of stories is the significant. That fact is exciting for me. I believe that much too often artists, and photographers specifically, are isolated in the creation and collaboration of their work. While its true that a photographer may 'collaborate' with a subject in the creation of an image, often the interaction is brief and only extends as far as the subject lending their likeness to a light sensitive surface. The exchange is often unbalanced. Its exciting to think about collaboration as being something more, both for the photographer and the audience.